The basic meaning of social work is making efforts towards uplift of the underprivileged in society, by providing social services such as guidance, donations, assistance, counseling aid etc. Social workers play a very important role in society as they try to restore or improve the social functioning of individuals and communities.
However, social work is not just an individual initiative anymore. Assessing the needs of the world at large, social work needs to be more organized and more functional. The role of individuals in this regard has decreased considerably. Instead a more professional and organizational approach is required for this purpose. That is why the past few decades have seen a change in this field. It has developed more as a profession, rather than a mere personal urge to help the humanity.
There are today hundreds of organizations that offer diversified social services for the needy, around the world. Some of these organizations are just local, whereas some are of international level and are simultaneously working in different parts of the world. Social work is a proper career today, which requires a degree, an expertise and also a passion to serve humanity.
The areas in which social welfare organizations operate are very diverse such as clinical social work, domestic conflicts, research, policy making, social policy advocacy, poverty, child abuse, women and child rights etc. The focus of these organizations is mostly the underprivileged areas of the world, which includes the third world countries, as well as disaster hit or war torn countries.
Any individual who intends to take up social work as a profession, because of his passion for humanity must have a basic degree for that. In most of the countries, social workers are required to have a bachelor's degree in social work; some organizations even require a master's degree in social work for certain entry level positions. Private practice in this field requires a state certification, along with a master's degree and work experience.
This is why social work today is more organized and effective. These welfare organizations are the first to assist different countries in times of disaster or war. They are the first to raise their voice against inhuman policies adopted by governments. This is because they now have a more organized approach because of the qualified staff they hire, and the investment in training and development of these individuals.